Child Life Volunteer Program

The main objective of the UCI Health Child Life Volunteer Program is to provide a therapeutic play program to help pediatric patients and their families cope with their medical experience.

Play is a vital aspect of a child’s life. It is their vehicle for expressing themselves and finding comfort in an unfamiliar hospital environment. In an effort to promote optimal healing the child life program maintains a playroom for pediatric patients and their families. The Child Life playroom is a non-threatening, developmentally supportive environment designed with age-appropriate activities for infants, children and adolescent patients.

The child life volunteer program works in conjunction with volunteer services at UCI Health.

Frequently asked questions

What are the requirements to volunteer?

Child Life volunteers must be at least 18 years old and have completed 35 hours in the dispatch area of the volunteer office.

Our volunteers must commit to one three-hour shift each week.

Volunteers must be able to commit to a minimum of 20 weeks in the child life program.

Volunteers able to work independently without direct supervision.

Have an interest in engaging pediatric patients and their families in supportive activities.

The ideal candidate will have met all requirements and be looking for a future career working with children in the medical or mental health field


What do Child Life volunteers do?

During each shift, volunteers work directly with Child Life specialist to review the patient census and communicate developmentally appropriate needs. Volunteers will have the opportunity to interact with patients being treated primarily by the surgery department, which includes the trauma and burn services, as well as the outpatient burn clinic.

Volunteers have specific areas of focus during every shift. Each task is a variation of three components: 

  • Infection control: One of the most important things our volunteers do. Infection control ensures the well-being and safety of our patients.
  • Playroom/bedside interaction: Volunteers engage patients and their siblings with developmentally appropriate activities, depending on the patient's mobility.
  • Clerical duties: Volunteers will assist with various activities to support the patients and family serviced by the child life program including transportation of materials and special events.

Volunteer will be supervised by the child life specialist. After a few training sessions, volunteers will be tasked with independent duties. When duties are completed before the end of shift volunteers will return to the dispatch area of the volunteer office for additional duties.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer in the child life program, please contact Volunteer Services to complete an application.